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I have always maintained that gay parenting is just parenting. I understand the latter, but I am frustrated by the first.
The joys and triumphs, the challenges and heartbreaks, cross lines of sexuality. Just like I want to see my life as a queer woman, one who is interested in all LGBTQ news and stories, I want to see examples of my life as a queer mother valued and discussed.
If I just dig around in this diaper bag, under this pile of laundry, or the mountain of money I don’t have because I spent it all on frozen sperm and day care, maybe I’ll find my sexuality again.
I am a happier and better person because of who I am as a queer woman.
Yet having kids has made me question where I belong.
That’s because in the same way I feared the world would only ever see me as gay, I worry the gay world will only ever see me as a parent.
The thread of what parenting means to me and so many others has nothing to do with who we love, if we are married, or if we gave birth to our children. A parent is a parent, but a gay parent is not a straight one. I want the queer community to celebrate sperm donors, donor siblings, surrogacy, adoption, and all of the intricate details of gay parenting as much as it values pop-culture icons, dating apps and fashion trends.
In the same way I feared the world would only ever see me as gay, I worry the gay world will only ever see me as a parent. We were some of the original champions, the advocates, the lawmakers, the ones living life out loud so that the LGBTQ youth behind us would never have to just dream about having a family, but could plan on it.
I hoped for it, and was given the strength to fight for it, but the expectation of a life with three kids and a federally recognized marriage was more wishful than realistic. I am looking to see myself represented in the queer community as a queer woman and mother, but the two feel mutually exclusive.